Dressage is such an exacting and demanding sport that few people associate it with fun.
Not so today, at Natalie Perry Dressage, where trainers Natalie Perry and Mari Valeschini organized 2015’s first Dressage Fun Day. Over a dozen Central Oregon dressage fans gathered to watch and/or join in low-key exercises over cavaletti and around cones. We took turns playing follow the leader, which is an excellent way to encourage horses to accept any order in the arena, regardless of their personal preference for leadership or bringing up the rear.
I was especially excited to join in, as I’d missed last year’s Fun Days due to travel. I had fantasies about ‘kicking ass’ with Micah, the super mellow Westfalen gelding I’m leasing, forgetting that this was not a competitive event. Still, given that I’ve had several horses that were ‘pistols’ (shorthand for ‘occasionally out of control’), going to a multi-horse event without fear of catastrophe is a great thing.
Alas, on Fun Day morning, I got a text telling me that Micah had lost a shoe. But before I could shed a tear, Natalie suggested that I ride Dante’.